RocknRolla

Movie review by
James Rocchi, Common Sense Media
RocknRolla Movie Poster Image
Stylish, edgy British crime caper for grown-ups.
  • R
  • 2008
  • 114 minutes

Parents say

age 15+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 15+
Based on 6 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Extensive discussion of criminal activities like robbery, extortion, bribery, tax evasion, informing for the police, gambling, and drug use. Characters express some anti-immigrant sentiments. Discussion of the difference between British and European criminals.

Violence

Beatings, shootings, stabbings, car crashes, drowning, and threats of torture. Golf clubs, baseball bats, baseballs, pencils, and more are used as weapons, with visible blood and gore. Also fistfights, scuffling, torture, pepper spray used as a weapon, and the threat of being devoured by crayfish.

Sex

Some male nudity (buttocks). Quick-cut sex scenes. Women appear clad in underwear. Discussions of homosexuality; references to masturbation, oral sex, and hiring "escorts" sexual gestures.

Language

Pervasive strong English-accented language, including "f--k," "motherf---er," "damn," "s--t," "c--k," "bastard," and "wanker." Also derogatory sexual slang like "fag," "poof," "homo," "fairy," and more.

Consumerism

Some brands visible or discussed, including Range Rover and Johnnie Walker Black Label. Clips from Howards End are seen.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Characters drink wine, champagne, beer, and hard liquor; cigars and cigarettes are smoked nearly constantly; extensive discussion and depiction of hard drug use, including crack, cocaine, and more. The dire ramifications and long-term effects of hard drug use are shown, with "junkie" characters living in squalor and enduring seizures and vomiting.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this fast-paced crime film depicts a constant stream of convivial criminality and bad behavior, including stealing, shooting, extortion, bribery, money laundering, gambling, drug and alcohol use, and more. As bloody and painful as some of it gets, director Guy Ritchie and his cast make it all look like great fun, too -- which makes for a great caper film but doesn't exactly convey any lessons above and beyond the code of the streets. Expect non-stop swearing and smoking, as well as frank depictions of drug use, violence, and more.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bydarthsitkur August 10, 2012

hilarious lol

there was lots of laughs in rocknrolla, and i after i saw it, i thought to myself, it would be awesome if monty python made this lol, and even though i thought... Continue reading
Adult Written bySincerus July 19, 2014

Fast paced and gritty- but can probably make anyone uncomfortable

This is an exceptionally entertaining film, though even adults might have no idea what on earth is going on as the primary "heist" is something to do... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byYeah. February 27, 2011

Check my page for other recommendations.

I'm not here to give a review because if it shows up on my page its a 5 star movie and so therefore you know what i think about it.
Teen, 14 years old Written bymoviefan24 May 14, 2012

What's the story?

In present-day London, a group of low-level criminals known as "The Wild Bunch" is in debt to Lenny (Tom Wilkinson), the king of London's underground -- who's also trying to serve as the go-between as a Russian crime lord tries to get government approval for a new building project. At the same time, the Russian's beautiful accountant is setting him up to be robbed by The Wild Bunch, and Lenny's degenerate, drug-addicted rock star stepson has faked his own death to both get away from it all and boost his record sales.

Is it any good?

Shot on digital video, RocknRolla has a loose, fun feel to it. That's largely due to Gerard Butler's charming work as lead gangster "One-Two" and Mark Strong's work as classy crook Archie. ROCKNROLLA marks a return to form for writer-director Guy Ritchie, who burst onto the scene with the stylish, Tarantino-influenced crime films Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch. But recent years have seen Ritchie mentioned more for his marriage to Madonna than his films, so RocknRolla's mix of crime and comedy is a welcome reminder of what he can do when he does what he does best.

Other standouts in the cast include Toby Kebell, who plays burnt-out rock musician/junkie Johnny Quid; Kebell conveys the desperation, elation, squalor, and sleaze of serious crack addiction in a way that makes his bit part the soul of the film. Ritchie has a real flair for cartoon violence -- a robbery-fight-chase scene plays out as blood-soaked hilarity -- which means that RocknRolla is a higher grade of high-gloss caper-crime-comedy film. Ritchie has suggested that there'll be a series of films with these characters, and while it's hard to imagine anyone crying out for that as a matter of necessity after seeing RocknRolla, at least this film is a fun ride while you're watching it.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the appeal of crime cinema, particularly stylized crime comedies like this one. Can you successfully mix laughs with a body count? Can a movie with murder in it be taken as lightly as this one would like to be? Families can also discuss the negative consequences of drug addiction, as depicted in this film with startling frankness. How realistic do you think the portrayal is?

Movie details

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